Friday, August 20, 2010

This Week's Column

It's so hot that...
In case you haven’t noticed, it’s been pretty hot around these parts lately.
It’s been hard to cool off for anyone. Just the other day I found a neighbor’s dog hanging out in my pond to cool off. It was 7 a.m.
There’s not a lot to consider funny when it’s this hot out, especially with no rain and farmers' crops in danger. So, to find some humor in the heat, I searched the Web for some “How hot is it?” jokes.
Many I found were not the type of jokes that are fit for the paper, but here are a few that could be printed.
I’m not saying they’re all hilariously funny. They’re just what I found, and they might leave you a bit cold. Da da da ching. That’s a rim shot, in case you were wondering.
So, how hot is it? It's so hot ...
Today I saw a chicken lay a fried egg.
Potatoes cook underground, so just pull one out and add butter.
Farmers are feeding their chickens crushed ice to keep them from laying hard-boiled eggs.
Cows are giving evaporated milk.
A seat belt buckle could be used as a branding iron.
When the temperature drops below 95, you feel a bit chilly.
The best parking place is determined by shade instead of distance.
You break a sweat the instant you step outside at 7:30 a.m.
All the corn on the stalks started popping and flying through the air.
All the water buffalo at the zoo have evaporated.
Campbell Soup Company has changed the directions on its cans to "just pour and eat."
The chocolate factory became a milkshake.
You can attend any function wearing shorts and a tank top.
Your electric bill is higher than your house payment.
You start putting ice cubes in your water bed.
You realize asphalt has a liquid state.
You keep your refrigerator open just to feel the cool air.
By walking for three seconds you lose 100 pounds.
You keep humming the song, "Heat Wave."
You cancel your Hotmail account because you didn't like the name of it.
Your dream house is any house in Alaska.
You’re not even sure how hot it is because your heat thermometer only goes up to 120.
I hope you brought the champagne glasses because it is toasty out.
And then there are the "It's hotter than" jokes.
It's hotter than ...
A $2 pistol on the Fourth of July.
A firecracker lit at both ends.
Georgia asphalt.
High noon in Death Valley.
A hen laying eggs.
How about ...It's so hot I could spit fire.
Or ... It's hot enough to cure tobacco.
And, finally ... It’s Africa hot.
I’m not sure I know what any of that means, but I’ve heard people say a few of them.
Maybe this will give a little comfort for the crazy heat.
Or, you could just get back inside, pump up the air conditioning and drink a tall glass of lemonade. You deserve it.
After all, with the weather these days, you can break a sweat getting the mail.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

This week's column

Oh, the things we do
I recently finished writing an article about the health risks of wearing high-heeled shoes and began to wonder why we, as women, do these things to ourselves?
Seriously. Do we realize all the things — sometimes painful — we do to ourselves just to look halfway decent during the day?
There’s plucking and waxing — and I don’t care how you do it, ripping hair off of someone’s face doesn’t feel good. Then there’s the crazy stuff we do to our hair: perming, curling and ironing. How many of us have been burned more than once by a curling or flat iron?
Shaving one’s legs is no picnic either, and one really must develop some skill in doing it just right, especially in the shower.
The torture of all tortures has to be shoes. High heeled shoes are complete torture to the feet. And let’s be honest, they also make us walk funny. First there’s the clomping noise we make as we cross the floor and then the awkward steps we take to try not to break something while balancing ourselves so we don’t fall over. In reality, no matter how tall they make us, is that really attractive?
Let’s not forget the diets. They come in every shape and form and most of us have tried them all. When they don’t work we do tortuous exercising to get a quick result. If we stop and think about it, that isn’t always the healthiest way to treat our bodies.
And some of the fashions we attempt to wear — they’re not comfortable. Skinny jeans only really work on skinny people, which reverts back to the crazy diets.
Throughout the history of fashion, very few trends for women have ever resulted in anything resembling comfort. The flip flop may be one exception and a welcome escape from the high-heeled shoe.
Curling eyelashes, coloring hair, makeup — it all takes effort. Then there are those who go to the extreme and have permanent makeup and cosmetic surgery.
And who are we doing all this for? Do we do it to make ourselves feel better or to make sure we remain attractive to men?
Men have it a bit easier, don't they? Yes, they go on diets, too. But how many women out there have gone on a diet the same time as a man, who, with minimal effort, loses 30 pounds when you’ve barely lost 10? And what about fashion?
Sure, occasionally men have to tuck in their shirts, but how much effort does that really take? For a woman to be considered dressed up, she has to do most of the above — plus put on a fancy outfit. Men just have to throw on a pair of khakis, put on a belt and tuck in a shirt and suddenly they're considered dressed up. Most of them don’t even bother with a tie anymore.
Does this mean I think men should try to do the crazy things we do? Even if just to sympathize? No. That would just be weird.
This column isn’t an attempt to bash men. It’s just me venting frustration about all it takes for a woman — well, most women I know, anyway — to feel attractive.
Will the realization of the torture we inflict on ourselves make me or any of the rest of us stop doing it? Probably not.
I’ll still fire up the flat iron every morning to straighten the kinks out of my hair, suffer through my current diet and pluck whatever needs to be plucked. After all, I do want to feel like a lady at the end of the day.
It would just be nice if there were a few less-painful ways to feel that way.
I'm thinking now would be a good time for a pedicure just to recuperate.